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Bobby Joe Spence

September 19, 2021


Bobby Joe Spence, age 80, passed away on Sunday, September 19, 2021. He was a native of Unionville, TN and a graduate of Unionville High School.

Bobby Joe was a loving husband, father, and grandfather who enjoyed to the utmost God’s beautiful creation.

He had a contagious work ethic who joined the Army National Guard upon graduating high school and spent his career as a foreman manufacturing electrical motors. He enjoyed gardening, harvesting, canning, and “playing in the dirt.” His flower gardens were full of vivid colors and sweet aromas. He loved to cook for his family, and no one left his home hungry.

He authored the cookbook “Backwoods Cookbook: Food for Thought” as a legacy book of recipes passed down from his mother. Bobby Joe’s children and grandchildren were his pride and joy. There are not enough words to express the deep love he has shown his family throughout his life. 

 Bobby Joe is survived by his wife Patricia Ann Spence of Crump, TN, his son Tommy Joe Spence of Huntingdon, TN, his daughter Lisa Jo Spence Beard and son-in-law Charles Beard of Fairview, TN; and his grandchildren: Joseph Benjamin Beard of West Hollywood, CA, Laura Jo Gill of Heiskell, TN, Alysa Cha Huerta of Cookeville, TN, Noah Jackson Spence of Cookeville, TN, Waker Spence of Asheville, NC; stepsons Robert J. Mullins of Walnut, MS, Danny Mullins of Pinson, TN, Curtis Nelms of Walnut, MS; siblings: brother James Robertson Spence of Shelbyville, TN and sister Jean Lloyd of Shelbyville, TN. Bobby Joe is proceeded in death by his father James Leon Spence and mother Lettie Prince Spence of Unionville, TN, and his son Michael Joe Spence of Huntingdon, TN. 

A celebration of Bobby Joe’s life will be held at Gowen-Smith Chapel in Shelbyville, TN on Friday, September 24, 2021, with visitation at 10:00 am and celebration of life services at noon. Family and friends are invited. An interment will follow at Willow Mount Cemetery in Shelbyville, TN. Due to Covid restrictions, face masks are required unless there is a medical reason not to wear one. 

Gowen-Smith Chapel is assisting the family. 


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